How many p orbitals are there in a neon atom?

1 Answer
Nov 4, 2015

Answer:

Three.

Explanation:

Your tool of choice for this problem will be neon's electron configuration.

Neon, #"Ne"#, is located in period 2, group 18 of the periodic table, and has an atomic number equal to #10#. This means that a neutral neon atom will have a total of #10# protons in its nucleus and #10# electrons surrounding its nucleus.

Now, neon's electron configuration, which must account for #10# electrons, looks like this

#"Ne: " 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6#

So, a neon atom has

  • two electrons located in the 1s-orbital
  • two electrons located in the 2s-orbital
  • six electrons located in the 2p-orbitals

To get the number of p-orbitals you have, you can use quantum numbers.

figures.boundless.com

The first energy level that can hold p-orbitals is the second energy level, for which the principal quantum number, #n#, is equal to #2#.

The principal quantum numbers talls you the energy level, or shell. The angular momentum quantum number, #l#, tells you the subshell.

In your case, the p-orbitals correspond to an angular momentum quantum number equal to #1#.

Now, the number of orbitals you get per subshell is given by the magnetic quantum number, #m_l#. In your case, #m_l# can take the values

#m_l = {-1; 0; 1}#

This means that you can find a total of three p-orbitals, #p_x#, #p_y#, and #p_z#, in the p-subshell.

In neon's case, since its only p-orbitals are located on the second energy level, it follows that it contains a total of three p-orbitals, #2p_x#, #2p_y#, and #2p_z#.

https://www.boundless.com/biology/textbooks/boundless-biology-textbook/the-chemical-foundation-of-life-2